Ada Bwana a Kaligogu leaves the stage
Throughout his life, Lotani Kaligogu Manda has been in the spotlight for his enticing and irresistible gestures in Parker Town Band in Nkhata Bay.
He is one of the longest serving members of the band formed in 1933 and well-known for their unique dance moves.
Manda has been a passionate and vibrant member of the Nkhata Bay-based cultural grouping since his early twenties.
He is popularly known in the district as Ada Bwana a Kaligogu, a sign of respect towards his chieftaincy role as a village head under Traditional Authority Malanda.
The iconic figure has of late been spotted missing during key performances, including the launch of the 2020/21 National Forestry Season at Tukumbo Full Primary School in the district presided over by President Lazarus Chakwera last December.
In an interview, Manda said he could have wished to continue being an active member, but it is time to retire.
Now in his 80s, the dancer said his retirement should be an encouragement to both followers and potential stars to join the group.
“I feel my time has come to retire from active participation from the dance I was attached to with all my heart and soul,” he said.
Manda said his retirement should, therefore, not derail the fun.
“I want the nation to join me in celebrating my journey while I am still alive,” he said.
The octogenerian said he is open to drill anyone in need of his services.
Said Manda:“I have a lot of experience to share with the up-and-coming members of the band.”
While reflecting on his active days, he cherishes the recognition the group received in 2018 through Malawi Broadcasting Corporation sponsored Innovations Awards.
The cultural-oriented group took home K1 million for emerging winners in the culture category.
In his comment, the group’s leader Lucius Mphezi-Chirwa acknowledged Manda’s contribution towards the growth of the band.
While describing him as a living legend, he said Manda will always be their role model.
“The most immediate character we are acknowledging in Manda’s trail is passion. He brought in all his energy towards the growth of the band and it always manifested,” said Mphezi-Chirwa.
He also described Manda as an inspiration to the band’s emerging stars .
“Manda has inspired most of us in the best way possible. We do not believe we will have an exact replacement but we hope his inspiration will continue shaping us to greater heights,” said Mphezi-Chirwa.
The group’s secretary Moses Phiri said they are already overwhelmed with inquiries over Manda’s absence during their recent performances.
“He has been the face of Parker Town Band. We honour his role. We fully acknowledge his contribution, he is our hero,” he said.
For decades, the band has performed at national and regional engagements such as Independence Anniversary Celebrations on July 6 since the reign of the founding president of the country Hastings Kamuzu Banda .
Apart from the band, Nkhata Bay is also known culturally for its Malipenga, Visekese and Chilimika cultural dances.